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Forced home sale for elderly can be traumatic

Medicaid related property seizures can be traumatic and surprising for all those involved. A recent story in the Columbus dispatch highlights the importance of Medicaid planning.

The story spoke of an elderly man how had cared for many years for an elderly woman. But a forced home sale requested by the woman's guardian is now evicting the man from the home.

The man reportedly moved into the woman's home in 1973. He was a single man with a doctorate in physics, and she was a widow with no children. He needed a room, so she accepted him into her home on recommendation of a friend. Over time, their bond deepened, and they became like mother and son. He began caring for her full time after losing his job. He ended up caring for her for 38 years, until she entered a nursing home. She, now 94, now suffers from dementia, and the 74 year old man now faces eviction from the home he has been living in for all those years.

At some point, the elderly woman willed her house and estate to the man. She also purchased long term care insurance, which gives her about $5,000 a month. The amount is not quite enough to cover all nursing home costs. A guardian was appointed in 2009 after doctor noted that the woman's health was deteriorating. According to sources, the elderly woman thought she was sufficiently prepared to avoid the need for Medicaid. But the woman's court-appointed guardian says the home must be sold to help pay for her care in order to meet Medicaid regulations.

In our next post, we'll continue this story.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Thanks to Medicaid, caregiver faces eviction," Rita Price, 7 Feb 2011.

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